Category Archives: Halloween

You don’t know Jack

Jack O’Lantern sculpture.

Jack O'Lantern as designed by Michael Bukowski

Jack O’Lantern as designed by Michael Bukowski

Jacks skeleton with Milliput

Jacks skeleton with Milliput

Jack with some Greenstuff slopped all over him

Jack with some Greenstuff slopped all over him

Jack with some more Greenstuff on him

Jack with some more Greenstuff on him

Jack all painted up

Jack all painted up

Another project finished and, as it’s that time of year, I have finished another of the now traditional Halloween sculptures. One of the blogs I follow is Yog-blogsoth by Michael Bukowski. The illustrations are all based on different parts of the Lovecraft Mythos and its refreshing to see a Mythos blog which doesn’t just repeat the same trio of Cthulhu, Dagon and deep ones. Several months ago he posted a picture which caught my tiny mind. It’s one of the aspects of Nyarlathotep who I have a soft spot for in the Mythos and I’ve already posted that I thought Steve Jobs was Nyarlathotep and I’ve come close to sculpting him before in the Pharaoh form he is more widely known for (Nyarlathotep, not Steve Jobs). So with the subject picked, I thought I’d try something new which this time was using greenstuff to sculpt the Jack /Nyarlathotep character.


Usual start, wire frame, milliput over the top and then green stuff which I’ve not used properly before so it was an experience. The first few passes turned out ok but I wasn’t feeling the love properly. Its nice stuff for getting details but I was struggling with the stickyness of it and how floppy it can be when its set. I did find a few interesting tips online, one is it can be mixed with milliput to make it firmer. This does have the minor side effect of making it even stickier so best only to use in smallish amounts.

Another useful tip is not to use metal tools, the greenstuff sticks to them, as well as anything else it touches except silicone tools.

I also found it’s best not to stop on an area and come back to it the next day, its hard to get soft greenstuff to blend over firm greenstuff so lines and gaps can be hard to get rid of. I ended up picking up some liquid greenstuff from Games Workshop which works but is a bit unsmooth as you have to brush it on so a little bit of wet and dry helps once it has set.

One last one, which could be seen as bit icky, smoothing greenstuff seems to be an artform. There are all kinds of suggestions from water (didn’t seem to work too well with me), vaseline which has to be cleaned off before the next layer is added or it won’t stick, but the best one I’ve found is the oil which collects on the nose and forehead. Rub the tools in it, rub your fingers in it, even rub the greenstuff on your face before working with it. Damned if it doesn’t work a treat. Yes, I smoothed the final few passes on this with my own blood, sweat and tears. Well, sort of. I’m trying out a couple of other things but at a pinch it works well.

Jack had his final paint job with Games Workshop paints after a few coats of Halfords finest filler primer.

Google gallery of the build


Something wicked this way comes

Its only a few days to Halloween and for the last couple of years the Daughter and I have sculpted something for our window display as a way of having some fun and creating something unique. We’ve done tiny pumpkins, ghosts and she did a witch last year while I started the Jezail sculpture (which didn’t get finished anywhere near Halloween unless you count the following years). This year she wanted to do something a bit more complex so (leaving it until the last minute) she splashed around in Google for a bit and found a cat sketch by Chris Ryniak, so I went for another one of his sketches as inspiration.

To make it more interesting I thought of fitting a bulb into the top of the candle on one and we’ve talked about some glowing eyes for the cat. Nothing like making it as challenging as possible… Also the Daughters never done soldering before I thought this would be a good time to learn, she’s 10 so thats old enough to start hot-wiring stuff.

So Saturday consisted of harvesting as much of the bits needed from town. 3 packs of milliput to build the armature with, some aluminium tubes to run the wires through so I don’t have to bake the wires in the oven, a pack of mixed LED’s, a load of resistors, a flickering bulb from a £1 Halloween display, some wire, a couple of switches, batteries and I’ve even treated myself to a new soldering iron.

Sorry for the lack of “in build photos” but its been a bit of a rush to get this ready in time for the 31st. To start I cut up a couple of small MDF boxes to act as bases and housing for the batteries and wiring, drilled out holes and fitted the alu tubes. The daughters has it right up the middle while mine has a bend in the side as the legs are spread apart. Two packs of milliput then got spread all over them to act as keying for the sculpey. Baked for 20 mins to set the Milliput.

Next up was the circuits. In my shopping I also picked up a test breadboard for the wiring and two blow LED’s later I had my circuits worked out.

At this point it was sculpting time. The Daughter was packed off to bed a bit later and I carried on while the missus subjected me to “house nation”… How did that pass for music?

Sometime around 11pm, with my eyes burning, my back cracking and my ears bleeding, I had my basic shape blocked out.


This is the fasted I’ve ever finished sculpting something.

Halloween Sculpture
Halloween Sculpture

It was inspired by an original sketch by Chris Ryniak who also has a tumblr account which has now taken up residence in my Google reader.

What this whole thing has taught me is that I can sculpt stuff fast when I set my mind to it and that I need to do something about taking better photos of my work.

halloween window display

Due to not having a front garden or anything which can be filled with grotesque figures, we usually pop a couple of things in the window and the Dort and I make something every year as part of our build up to the 31st, she didn’t finish hers in time but we did put both of our new pieces in the window. Her cat is also based on a sketch by Chris and I’ll publish a pic when she finishes painting it. The eyes light up green when a button is turned on at the back and was built with half an old torch (cut up for the button), some green LED’s and a couple of decorative glass pebbles for the front of the eyes.